Calvin Freiburger

Lazy Media Matters Tries to Expose Right-Wing Media Bias

Posted on December 3 2009 3:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

Some claims are too petty even for Media Matters to make on the merits alone.  Unfortunately, that’s not to say they have the good sense to abandon such attacks—no, they just need a little extra padding, like dredging up old, unrelated controversies to make them seem more significant.

Such is the sorry state of their latest attack on Sean Hannity, who, in a discussion last night with Fox News’ John Gibson, observed:

Look at, for example, Look at how ugly this got. Here’s a guy that has dedicated his life — General [David] Petraeus — to saving his country: “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” […] Why do you think there wasn’t more outrage and why wasn’t there more media coverage — in the mainstream media — on this?

First, Media Matters runs down a long list of media outlets that did cover the General Betray-Us ad.  Unfortunately, they don’t describe or link to any of them, leaving the reader to guess just how accurate, biased, or “extensive” any of that coverage really was.  Are we talking full reports, or passing references in other discussions?  Substantive criticism and reporting on the ad’s offensive nature, or attempts to equivocate?

In any event, Media Matters seems to have caught Hannity speaking less precisely than he should have in an off-the-cuff reference to a two-year-old controversy.  Keep up the important work, guys!  Maybe you can follow-up with a special report exposing all the typos in Gibson’s new book!

Perhaps sensing that this observation might not be stunning enough to warrant a full post, Media Matters introduces a hypocrisy angle, claiming that many of the same outlets who pounced on the Betray-Us story ignored the faux controversy over Rush Limbaugh’s “phony soldiers” remarks.  Yes, because we all know the mainstream media’s real problem is its right-wing bias!

Unfortunately for Media Matters, a quick Google search reveals several media outlets did cover them—including the New York Times, CNN, USA Today, the Boston Herald, the Christian Science Monitor, the Huffington Post, and even “rightwing” Fox News.  At the time, NewsBusters pointed out that MSNBC covered the story obsessively, and speculated that the rest of the MSM might have ran away from it because it was so quickly shown to be bogus, they recognized “how hypocritical it would be to castigate Limbaugh for basically reiterating what ABC’s Brian Ross and Charles Gibson reported last Monday evening just two days before,” and/or they hoped to bury then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing ties to the smear machine.

It never ceases to amaze what non-stories pass for scandal on the Left.  Media Matters’ strategy might be to overwhelm conservatives with the sheer number of their daily attacks, but their tactics only prove that quantity is no substitute for quality.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also blogs at the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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